- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 6, 2014

VOICE OF REASON — A REPUBLICAN PARTY FORECAST

The liberal media relishes the chance to issue dire reports that the Republican Party is in complete shambles — divided, disillusioned, fatigued. Yeah, well. Things are not as bad as they are portrayed, and while the Grand Old Party is quite capable of short sprints on the campaign trail, it’s also in it for the long march.

“Republican are no more discouraged after six years of Barack Obama than Democrats were after six years of George W. Bush. While there’s a healthy intramural battle inside the party during the midterm primaries, the midterm general election looks very positive for the GOP, which will only strengthen enthusiasm for 2016. Republicans do believe President Obama has done tremendous damage to our country, but there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel that we can see,” Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak tells Inside the Beltway.

MR. LABRADOR DOES NOT BLINK

A Republican from Idaho is not one to be trifled with. That would be Rep. Raul Labrador, an unapologetic and plainspoken conservative who appears unfazed by aggressive journalists or the proverbial media hot seat. Mr. Labrador put in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, following Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, who had told host David Gregory that as far as the surge of undocumented, unaccompanied youngsters in the Rio Grande Valley, the U.S. should “do right by the children.” Mr. Labrador was ready.

“As I was listening to Secretary Johnson I kept thinking you just need to change your slogan at the beginning of your show. Instead of ‘If it’s Sunday, it’s Meet the Press,’ it should be ‘If it’s Sunday, it’s another administration official making stuff up on Meet the Press.’” Mr. Labrador told Mr. Gregory in the aftermath. “It’s really shameful. He made up a lot of different things.”

The lawmaker — a father of five — made it clear that he has profound sympathies for the kids.

“This is an outrageous thing that is happening to these children. The best, safest message we can send to Central America is, if you want Central American families to know that they shouldn’t be bringing their children to the United States, is by sending these children back home in a humanitarian way,” Mr. Labrador said.

THE WARREN FACTOR GETS SERIOUS

Is it more than gleeful dot-connecting? The rumor that President Obama will support Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in a presidential bid rather than Hillary Rodham Clinton has emerged, like a big moth from a carefully crafted cocoon. Such rumors go straight for the light, and either provide entertainment or annoyance. The claim comes from Ed Klein, author of “Blood Feud,” a book tracing intense rivalry between the Obama and Clinton families, and now topping the New York Times bestseller list.

But Mr. Klein went to the New York Post on Sunday for his big reveal, writing, that Mr. Obama “quietly promised” support to Ms. Warren — “a stinging rebuke to his nemesis Hillary Clinton.”

Some have already suggested that Ms. Warren is ready for a White House run and would be a contender, thanks to her appealing brand of liberal populism. Columnist Jonah Goldberg notes “Warren is perfectly poised to be the Obama of 2016,” while American Thinker founder Thomas Lifson declared her to be waiting in “the tall grass,” ready to ambush her rivals.

And about Mr. Klein’s claim that Mr. Obama would support Ms. Warren, the idea has taken flight and is now fluttering from one news organization to the next, making headlines in The New York Sun, Fox News, The Wire and the Daily Mail, among others. Mr. Klein’s claim “has the ring of truth,” noted The Sun in an editorial.

THE PUBLISHER GETS FEISTY

Regnery Publishing — that’s Mr. Klein’s publisher — is enjoying the moment, meanwhile.

Ed Klein’s new book ‘Blood Feud’ is now a New York Times No. 1 bestseller in overall sales, beating out Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’. But the big question is: Has Hillary read Blood Feud yet? We think she should,” the publisher advises consumers in a mass email. “Tweet Hillary and tell her she should pick up a copy.”

CONSERVATIVE AUTHORS ABSENT FROM SCHOOL

Young America’s Foundation reveals that conservative-themed books are noticeably absent from “required reading programs for incoming college freshmen nationwide.” The 45-year-old conservative college group pored over the freshman reading lists at 50 leading campuses to find that “no conservative books were assigned to incoming students” — over the past three years. The required reading, the organization said, dwelled on such liberal topics as feminism, socialism and wealth redistribution. The foundation itself supports individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values.

Concerned parents, meanwhile, might want to consult a few of their recommendations for the young and restless. Among helpful titles, they say: “Free to Choose” by Milton Friedman, “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand, “The Road to Serfdom” by Friedrich von Hayek, “I Am Charlotte Simmons” by Tom Wolfe, “Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream” by Adam Shepard; “Chinese Girl in the Ghetto” by Ying Ma, and “Liberty and Tyranny” by Mark Levin.

WHO’S GOING TO SEE ‘AMERICA’?

There are anecdotal reports that recent audiences gave standing ovations and wept at the conclusion of “America: Imagine the World without Her,” the feature length documentary by Dinesh D’Souza that supports the idea of American exceptionalism. The film has taken in a respectable $4 million in its first few days in theaters.

“America” is, perhaps, more than just a film. It is also proving to be somewhat of a political gauge; the film’s production company thought to conduct “exit polling” of viewers in New York City, Los Angeles, Denver and St. Louis following their movie-going experience. And here’s what the surveys found: 92 percent of the respondents would recommend the film to a friend, 91 percent of the respondents gave it a positive review, 85 percent consider themselves conservative and 82 percent say they’re religious.

Sixty six percent lauded Mr. D’Souza himself, 60 percent said they attended the movie primarily for its patriotic message, followed by historic content (50 percent) and the overall concept (31 percent). The audiences were typically 54 percent men and 46 percent women.

POLL DU JOUR

92 percent of U.S. voters support background checks for all gun buyers; 86 percent of Republicans, 98 percent of Democrats, 92 percent of independents agree and 92 percent of gun owners agree.

89 percent overall support laws preventing people with mental illness from buying guns; 90 percent of Republicans, 91 percent of Democrats, 87 percent of independents and 91 percent of gun owners agree.

50 percent overall supports stricter gun control laws in the U.S.; 24 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Democrats, 44 percent of independents and 32 percent of gun owners agree.

47 percent overall oppose stricter laws; 71 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of Democrats, 52 percent of independents and 65 percent of gun owners also oppose stricter laws.

Source: A Quinnipiac University survey of 1,446 registered U.S. voters conducted June 24-30 and released Thursday.

Flamboyant warbles, delicate soliloquies to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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